01.31.13

Kareem On Donald Glover’s Brief “Girls” Tenure : Lena Should’ve Opted For A Dildo

Posted in Basketball, Racism Corner, The World Of Entertainment at 8:05 pm by

Kareem Abdul-Jabar knows a thing or two about great writing and great performances, so who better to critique Golden Globe winner / “Girls” creator Lena Dunham?  Kareem has measured praise for the HBO comedy (“the contrast of the generation that’s been taught that pretty much anything goes sexually trying to act cool while struggling with their vulnerabilities is generally fresh and original and insightful about this generation”), but takes a dim view of what we’ll call (for argument’s sake, anyway), (Nearly) All-White Brooklyn. From the Huffington Post :

Last season the show was criticized for being too white. Watching a full season could leave a viewer snow blind. This season that white ghetto was breached by a black character who is introduced as some jungle fever lover, with just enough screen time to have sex and mutter a couple of lines about wanting more of a relationship. A black dildo would have sufficed and cost less.

I don’t believe that people of color, sexual preference, or gender need to be shaken indiscriminately into every series like some sort of exotic seasoning. If the story calls for a black character, great. A story about a black neighborhood doesn’t necessarily need white characters just to balance the racial profile. But this really seemed like an effort was made to add some color — and it came across as forced.

QPR To Odemwingie : You’re Not Getting In Without A Ticket (And There’s No Match Tonight)

Posted in Football at 6:57 pm by

QPR’s hopes that WBA striker Peter Odemwingie might lead them to safety were dashed Thursday night when the clubs failed to come to terms on an agreement prior to the close of the January transfer window. Disappointing stuff for the bottom-of-the-table R’s, certainly, but this isn’t the first or last time a rumored deal has collapsed at the deadline.

What was, unique, however. was Odemwingie showing up at Loftus Road under the impression he was ready to start his Stupor Hoops tenure. As such, Odemwingie was locked out of the building (and speaking as someone who has tried to enter after the ticketing gates have closed, they’ve got quite the security operation in place over there).

It is tempting to call this one of the more insane incidents to take place on South Africa Road in the last 14 years, but compared to guns being brandished in the boardroom, Ian Holloway’s “gardening leave”, the brawl with the Chinese Olympic team, the ownership tenue of Briatore & Eccelstone or the captaincy of Joey Barton…it really isn’t that big a deal.

Great News, Homosexual Football Players! Mike Ditka Respects Your “Beliefs” And “Choices”

Posted in Gridiron at 1:11 pm by

Aside from the routine frustration of Artie Lange getting no credit whatsoever (you’d think a guy that nearly ended Joe Buck’s TV career would get a little more recognition), ESPN’s Thursday coverage of Chris Culliver’s predictable apology included the above awkward exchange between Hannah Storm, Tom Jackson and Mike Ditka. That Coach Ditka seems to suggest homosexuality is a matter of choice was particularly disappointing, especially in light of Mike’s prior role as a same-sex marriage pioneer.

01.30.13

Niners Culliver To Gay Teammates : It Gets Better…Ten Years After You Retire

Posted in Gridiron at 4:09 pm by

Last August, the San Francisco 49′ers became the first NFL team to take part in the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying initiative, a public stance towards the LBGT community that runs contrary to the worldview of Niners CB Chris Colliver, interviewed during yesterday’s Super Bowl Media Day  by noted social activist Artie Lane (quotes courtesy the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman)

“I don’t do the gay guys man,” Culliver said. “I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.

“Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah … can’t be … in the locker room man. Nah.”

Culliver suggested that homosexual athletes keep their sexuality private until 10 years after they retire.

A 49ers spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Lance Armstrong, Manti T’eo And Ray Lewis Would Like To Sincerely Thank Alex Rodriguez For Reminding The Nation What A Real Pariah Looks Like

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 3:25 pm by

Though Yankee 3B Alex Rodriguez previously swore his flirtations with the loosey-goosey culture of illegal PED intake ( (his words)  came to a stop over a decade ago, an investigation on the part of Miami’s New Times seems to indicate that even in more recent years, A-Rod has enjoyed drugs almost as much the company of muscular women.  Aside from giving the Bombers some hope they might be able to void the final 5 years of Rodriguez’ monstrous contract, yesterday’s revelations give the Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch cause to dub A-Rod, “the ultimate snake…baseball’s all-time fraud.”

There’s no way out — the relationship with the Yankees and their fans is too toxic. Rodriguez was reportedly dumb enough to keep breaking the rules, but he’s savvy enough to know he’s used up the last of his equity. Just wait and see, A-Rod will find a doctor to say he’s medically unable to keep playing, like Albert Belle, whose own career ended in 2000 because of hip problems. This convenient detour will allow A-Rod to pocket the rest of his money and give the Yankees 85 percent reimbursement from their insurers.

Remember that monster return from the first hip surgery four years ago — the real-life Roy Hobbs blasting a home run in his first at-bat off the disabled list? Rodriguez drove in 100 runs in just 124 games, but according to the New Times, that performance was phony as Rodriguez’s apology six months earlier, after he’d been caught by Sports Illustrated using PEDs in 2001-03.

What happened to Rodriguez’s talent if he was indeed juicing and cheating his way through the 2012 season? He finished with his lowest slugging percentage since 1995 and, with only 18 home runs, turned a pursuit of Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record into a dead crawl. And this was while allegedly on PEDs, prompting one baseball executive to say, “imagine what [Rodriguez] would be without them?”

Promo Cutters Of The World, Step Back – FREIGHT TRAIN JUST RAISED THE BAR

Posted in General, Professional Wrestling at 1:44 pm by

From the promotion that brought you such icons as White New Jack and The Fake Sheik.

01.29.13

The Author Of “I Keek A Touchdown” Proves He’s No Tom Vu

Posted in Gridiron at 11:45 pm by

I awoke yesterday with what I thought to be a genuine case of SUPER BOWL fever, but alas, it was merely the H1N5 virus (whoops!). Shortly before the projectile vomiting began, however,  I felt compelled to watch a clip of Dolphins K Garo Yepremian’s ill-advised attempt at throwing a forward pass in Super Bowl VII. Which led me down the inevitable YouToob rabbit hole of totally fucked up sports-related videos.  And I have to say, nothing in my nearly 9 years of blogging fully prepared me for the oratory powers of GARO YEPREMIAN, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER.    Good news, DDP, you’re finally off the hook!

Ray Lewis’ Curious Approach To Dodging Questions

Posted in Gridiron at 6:36 pm by

What could be a fairytale ending to Ravens LB Ray Lewis  career took an uncomfortable detour Tuesday, with accusations Lewis’ 2012 rehab was assisted by the purchase of substances banned by the NFL.  Said story broke just in time for Super Bowl XLVII Media Day, meaning there was an entirely new subject for Lewis to avoid  (on top of, y’know, the other one)

“I’m going to say it again, that was a two-year old story that you want me to refresh. I wouldn’t give him the credit to even mention his name or his antics in my speeches or my moment,” said Lewis, who will retire following Sunday’s title game against the San Francisco 49ers. “I can’t do it so I won’t even speak about it. I’ve been in this business for 17 years and nobody has ever gotten up with me every morning and trained with me. Every test, I’ve ever took in the NFL, there’s never been a question if I ever even thought about using anything. To even entertain stupidity like that, tell him to try and get his story out with somebody else.”

“Him” is Mitch Ross, a co-owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS). Ross told Sports Illustrated that upon Lewis’ request, he provided the 37-year-old linebacker with products aimed at speeding up his recover from the torn triceps, an injury that occurred Oct. 14. Lewis came back in time for the Jan.6 playoff opener against the Indianapolis Colts and his return is being cited as one of the factors behind the Ravens’ Super Bowl run.

Lewis’ alleged involvement with Ross first surfaced in 2011 when ThePostGame.com reported that Jackson, the former Ravens quarterback coach and a current offensive assistant for the Cincinnati Bengals, was told by the NFL to sever ties with SWATS. Jackson reportedly introduced several Ravens to the company’s products, including Lewis.

“Two years ago, that was the same report,” Lewis said. “I wouldn’t give that report or him any of my press. He’s not worthy of that.”

Lewis would have you believe that not only is his “moment” being stolen, but reporters asking legit questions about his involvement with Ross are co-conspirators in generating publicity for SWATS.   If you believe that, I’ve got a bloodstained white suit I’d like to sell you. That is, if  anyone could find it.

A Fond Farewell To Nick Johnson

Posted in Baseball, The World Of Entertainment at 6:13 pm by

Nick Johnson pulled the plug on a decade-long, injury-filled major league career yesterday,  an bittersweet occasion that is somewhat mitigated by the former Yankeee/Nationals 1B at least having an acting career to fall back on.

Johnson’s work under the psuedonym, “Jon Polito” while certainly revered by fans of television’s “Homicide”, is best exemplified by his star turn in the Coen Brothers’ “Miller’s Crossing”.  And I’ll bet you’re wishing I’d posted a clip from that movie, instead.

01.28.13

A (Revisionist) HIstory Of Deadspin : HIgh Minded Leitch Was “Never About The Traffic”

Posted in Blogged Down, Sports Journalism, Will Leitch Sucks at 11:13 pm by

Deadspin celebrates its 8th anniversary later this year, an occasion that caused Adweek’s Charlie Warzel to collect memories from the site’s editors and publisher about their major journalistic achievements in the pre-Manti T’eo era.   Said high water marks are specified as a jpg of a drunk Kyle Orton, a jpg of a drunk Josh Hamilton and a jpg of Brett Favre’s cock —- apparently causing multiple Sean Salisbury meltdowns didn’t meet Warzel’s standards!  Anyhow, if you’re amongst those who thought Deadspin founder Will Leitch (above, left) milked the site’s bro-tarded comments section for all it was worth, THINK AGAIN.  He’s not that kind of guy.

Leitch: I didn’t want comments at all. This was my little play land. I was having too much fun and comments added a new element. I didn’t know or even care if people were reading Deadspin at the time. I was just enjoying sitting in my little room. I had stopped looking at traffic. I said, “Just tell me at the end of each month if I don’t get my traffic goals. Just give me one warning and if I screw up again you can fire me.” I’m still like that now and I just don’t want to know the numbers. Chasing the traffic demon is the end of it all. I think it’s made everything [online] stupid.

Drew Magary: He’d seen how bad comments were on other sites. Most commenters on Yahoo and ESPN are morons writing things that are breathtakingly stupid. He probably thought, “Okay, I’ll write something smart, then commenters will call the President Hitler and this will suck.”

There was one point early on where Will would pull out comments of mine and stick them in a post and when he did that I’d be like, “Oh my God! Leitch posted the comment! I don’t feel so alone anymore! I’m so happy!” Five of us commenters eventually started a site called Kissing Suzy Kolber and Will championed our cause early. Every time he’d email me I’d get excited and think, “Wow a big media person likes our stuff.”

Leitch: I got over the comments issue quick because Deadspin commenters ended up being so awesome. It ended up that I worked the top part of the site and they worked the bottom. I never really read comments then, though I didn’t have any problems with them. After a while, I realized “Oh, its actually really funny!” By the time it had become a community though I was too busy writing posts. The Deadspin community formed entirely outside of my doing. I didn’t foster it. Not that I didn’t want it, but I just had no time to do it.

It’s entirely appropriate that KSK’s Margery is a character witness ; after all, it was long established that links at Deadspin during Leitch’s era were largely reduced to a small circle (jerk) of acolytes. But compare and contrast Leitch’s claim, “the Deadspin community formed entirely outside” with a September 2006 statement from the humble editor promising a “rather stingy” approvals process.  How do you know when the Man From Mattoon isn’t totally full of shit?  I was gonna write, “his lips aren’t moving”, but that doesn’t cover typing.

Boston Magazine On A-Gone’s Text, Passan’s Scoop And Some Harsh Words For Peter Abraham

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 5:03 pm by

Calling Boston’s cabal of mainstream sports journalists/pundits, “whiny, petulant, entitled and self-important”, Boston Magazine’s Alan Siegal is rather adamant that national reporters have proven more adept at breaking big stories, possibly because they don’t have to worry about taking heat from their subjects on a daily basis. Returning to the matter of Jeff Passan’s August 14 piece for Yahoo Sports in which Adrian Gonzalez was said to be lobbying for Bobby Valentine’s dismissal, Siegal declares, “it was clearly a massive story — unless you happened to be a sportswriter from Boston.”  And that’s where the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham comes in.

Though he would later produce an article about the poor relationship between Valentine and some of his coaches, Peter Abraham remains mystified as to why Passan’s story got so much attention. In journalism, it’s worth noting, there’s nothing more embarrassing than having a reporter from the outside come in and break news on your turf. “There was this perception that, well, somehow the Boston media got beat on this story,” Abraham told me. “I didn’t know what there was that we got beat on. I guess the fact that [the players and ownership] had a meeting.”

Actually, yes, exactly that.

Abraham continued: “Bobby, if anything, at the time, had his position strengthened. He didn’t get fired. They fired [the pitching coach]. And the team played better for a short time after that meeting. So when this thing came out, at least for me personally, I didn’t really know what the story was—‘Well, the Red Sox were upset three weeks ago.’”

Again, the players tried to get the manager axed. That was the story. But Abraham went on: “Had Bobby been fired, and that was the reason, it would’ve been a better story. There were really no consequences to the meeting. Nothing happened. I wasn’t really sure where to go with it.”

Abraham’s implication that the meeting was unimportant because nobody got fired is more than a bit strange, especially considering that pitching coach Bob McClure, rumored to be the source for Passan’s story, was canned less than a week after the article ran. More broadly, though, there is something seriously amiss if the Globe’s Red Sox beat writer, the holder of one of the most sought-after jobs in all of American sports journalism, doesn’t know where to go with a story like this.

01.27.13

Memorabilia Dealer Conscientiously Objects To Carlos Delgado

Posted in Baseball at 6:31 pm by

Under what possible circumstances would former Mets 1B Carlos Delgado find himself the subject of a prominent NY tabloid story in 2013?  Perhaps a full-fledged apology from writers or radio hosts who dogged him throughout his Flushing tenure?  Or maybe a testimonial to Delgado’s acts of charity or political conscience? No, instead we have a story about a memorabilia dealer upset that Delgado signed bats with A-Rod’s name on them and had the temerity to, y’know, get old.  From the Daily News’ Michael O’Keefe :

Sports memorabilia dealer Spencer Lader and other defendants in the case want Jose Reyes, now with the Blue Jays, to tell them under oath what he knows about Delgado’s relationship with Anthony Galea, the controversial Toronto sports medicine doctor — and human growth hormone proponent — who pleaded guilty in July 2011 to transporting misbranded and unapproved drugs into the United States.

“I’m not saying Delgado used steroids, but I do have a right to know if he did,” Lader says. “We thought his name had commercial value, but everybody knows players linked to steroids have no commercial value.  We thought he would be a 500 home run player but his body broke down,” Lader says. “If he used performance-enhancing drugs it was a misrepresentation and we have a right to know.”

“I want to be the first person in memorabilia to keep these people accountable,” adds Lader, whose Authentic Memorabilia made headlines in 2007 when it marketed Darryl Strawberry- and Jason Giambi-autographed baseballs that said “Everybody deserves a second chance.”

Delgado signed an agreement with Lader in 2006 that made Lader his exclusive autographed memorabilia dealer. Lader says he later brought in other partners, including Nitin Doshi, the wealthy owner of a Long Island medical imaging company. The deal had soured by 2009 when the ex-Met filed suit in Nassau County Supreme Court, claiming that Lader, Doshi and the other defendants stiffed him out of at least $767,500. The defendants dispute Delgado’s claims; Lader says he should not even be a party to the suit because Doshi bought out his interest in the deal.

01.26.13

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN : CSTB’S PRO BOWL CHILI

Posted in Food, Gridiron at 7:52 pm by

(Giants QB Eli Manning, diligently prepares for Sunday’s game, undaunted by the disappointment of having been chosen to participate)

(EDITOR’S NOTE : the following was first posted on February 8, 2004. Since our archives from year one are on the fritz — and have been for way too fucking long — you’ll just have to take my word for it. No one in their right mind would boast of republishing this recipe on an annual basis for 9 years if it weren’t true – GC).

Excuse me for having to spell this one out for our European readers. Pro Bowl Sunday is a BIG event for Americans. All over the country, families come together for Pro Bowl Parties. Advertisers pay hundreds of dollars to televise commercials featuring their newest products. Each year on Pro Bowl Sunday, battered womens’ shelters report the number of victims admitted to their care decreases by two percent, testament to the calming nature of the contest . If the NBA All-Star Game is, in the words of Michael Wilbon, Black Thanksgiving, then the Pro Bowl is sort of like Yom Kippur for Gambling Degenerates & Football Obsessives of All Races.

In this household, the Pro Bowl’s importance is matched only by that of the NHL Skills Competition (skate-sharpening, carrying Eric Lindros off the ice) and the entire NASCAR calendar. And with that in mind, here is CSTB’s Award Winning Pro Bowl Chili Recipe :

Ingredients :
750 g of Sainsbury Lean Minced Beef

1 jar of Uncle Ben’s Hot Chili
simmer the minced beef in a wok or non-combustible container until brown.

drain the fat in a colander.

remove half the beef and serve to CSTB’s Proofreader (allow some 20 minutes for cooling or you’ll be very very sorry)

put the other half of the beef back in the wok, add the contents of the Uncle Ben’s jar.

go watch NFL Countdown for 30 minutes

serve over a bed of white rice (if you don’t have any white rice, you can always try to cut the taste by swallowing without chewing)

Serves 1 – possibly two if you can get anyone to come over to your house for the Pro Bowl.

Notorious Wife-Swapper Reveals Maury Allen’s Houseparty Set The Swinging Tone

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 7:36 pm by

Ok, the might be the most misleading headline I’ve ever written (and that’s saying something), though I could’ve opted for “No One Ever Mistook The Fort Lee, NJ Steak & Ale For Plato’s Retreat”.  In the end, the combination of “Maury Allen” and “swinging” was far too much for me to resist — if only I still had advertisers!  .  The Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi, mindful of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s plans to make a film about Yankee pitchers Fritz Peterson (above) and Mike Kekich trading wives in 1973, gathered some dusty details from Peterson during a Ft. Lauderdale chat (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“We were invited to a party at Maury Allen’s house on a Saturday night, July the 15th, 1972,” Peterson said. “During the party, we all had a couple of beers and were having a great time. When we were deciding to leave, we had driven two different cars and happened to park behind each other out in the street. I said to my wife, Marilyn, ‘Why don’t you ride with Mike to the diner in Fort Lee, N.J., and I’ll take Susanne with me and we’ll meet there and then we’ll go home from there.

“We did that and we had so much fun together, Susanne and I and Mike and Marilyn, that we decided, ‘Hey, this is fun, let’s do it again.’ We did it the next night. We went out to the Steak and Ale in Fort Lee. Mike and Marilyn left early and Susanne and I stayed and had a few drinks and ate.

“It was just really fun being able to talk to somebody. All of us felt the same way. We went on from there and eventually he fell in love with my wife and I fell in love with his.’’

Peterson said he didn’t think it would be that big of a story. But the day after the announcement, “I saw my picture on TV when I woke up,” he said. “And I said, ‘Uh-oh, it’s a big one.’ ’’

01.25.13

From The “Things That Will Never Happen” Dept. : Considering The Montreal Expos of the AL East

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 7:18 pm by

On Thursday, Major League Baseball’s impatience with Tampa Bay’s stadium situation was noted in this space and many others, with the Commissioner’s Office’s stern words causing TSN’s Scott Ferguson to fantasize, “A winning Tampa team could move to Montreal and slide right into the American League East as a tremendous rival for the Blue Jays (“with a new baseball-first stadium and committed ownership, the new Expos might have a chance.”)

In their 36-year history, Montreal had a peak attendance of just over 2.3 million in 1983. They had a five-year glory run where they were one of the top teams in baseball where they drew over two million in four of those five seasons. It would have been all five if not for the strike-shortened 1981 campaign. The point being there were numerous other years where the attendance figures were every bit as bad as the Rays, if not worse at times.

Part of the problem was playing in relatively small Jarry Park, and then moving to an oversized, out of the way, less intimate Big “O”. The fans in Montreal were more boisterous and emotional than most I’ve seen in the Majors. They just seemed to grow weary of the ownership circus and not having a proper baseball facility.

If the Commissioner is making a veiled threat to move the Rays, then here’s hoping Montreal becomes the target city.

Possibly The First Time Stu Bickel’s Been Compared To Lena Dunham

Posted in Blogged Down, Hockey, Sports Journalism at 3:22 pm by

“News of the NHL lockout’s end caused as much excitement in the male world as a 70 percent off sale does in a woman’s. If you’re completely oblivious what the end of the lockout means, think of it as the premiere of the newest season of “Girls” being delayed for months, and then suddenly it’s announced that it will be coming back but with a lot fewer episodes to make up for lost time.”

I know you’re thinking the above passage was composed by Stan Fischler or Larry Brooks, but no dice. Instead, it’s an excerpt from Blueshirts United’s “A Girl’s Guide To Watching The Rangers” by Mirna Mandi, and since removed by the NY Rangers official site. CBS NY’s Chris Peters details some of the fallout ;

Among the tips, “You need to sense the tension at certain points in the game and let [the men] do their jumping, screaming and cheering thing. You can tell if something huge has happened by their reaction, and if you’re absolutely lost, wait for the replay. There’s always a replay after a major play.”


The article also suggests learning a few names of the players by looking up the roster on the Rangers website, the importance of getting to know noted handsome gentleman and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, and reassuring the reader that it’s all right to ask the man questions.

It took Twitter all of about two seconds to unleash the fury. The article itself had more than 40 comments — mostly negative — within minutes. Less than an hour later, the post was wiped from the Internet. The Rangers’ tweet directing people to the story was also deleted.

TNT’s Kenny Smith – Critic Of Male Grooming, Potential Awful Announcing Guest Columnist

Posted in Basketball, Fashion at 3:03 pm by

Smith’s hilarious evisceration of Charles Barkley’s commentary aside (“I’ve been listening to this dude all night talking crazy and reckless to America…all I’m saying is Vegas.The man lives in Vegas”), Deadspin accuses TNT’s NBA halftime yucksters of “transparent gay baiting”. Said charge is not nearly as stunning as the fact the entire waxing kerfuffle was initiated by Reggie Miller.

01.24.13

Arizona Just Overpaid For Martin Prado

Posted in Baseball at 11:13 pm by

Either the Arizona Diamondbacks have decided RF Justin Upton’s skills will diminish awfully fast for a position player with a mere 6 professional seasons under his belt, or in the words of Beyond The Box Score’s Spencer Schneier, “the Diamondbacks must know something about Upton that the general public does not.”  On Thursday morning, the D-Backs sent RF Upton to the Braves in exchange for IF Martin Prado and P Randall Delgado, and while the Arizona Republic’s Dan Bickley suggests Snakes GM Kevin Towers “will be questioned forever” if the pairing of Justin and B.J. Upton pays dividends in Atlanta, Schneier is ready to commence the questioning right now.

Justin Upton is 25 years old, making $38.5 million over the next three seasons, and has been worth 17.1 fWAR in his career. If Upton follows anything resembling the normal aging curve, then he will be one of the best players in baseball over the next three seasons, while making a shade under $13 million on average.

What sells this deal as a landslide for the Braves is that Upton is probably a better player than Martin Prado, but he is also controlled for three seasons as opposed to the one season that Prado is signed for. As fellow BtBer Matt Hunter pointed out to me, this gives Arizona a better chance to resign Prado, but I disagree because we cannot factor this into the deal because we just do not know.

To put it very literally, Arizona traded three years of a 25-year old with a good chance to post at least 3-4 fWAR per year, for one year of a 29-year old who will probably be in the 3-4 win range and the potential to add a draft pick and the slot-money that would come with that pick (as well as Delgado and other minor prospects). This is all without considering Upton’s sizeable upside, with a chance to provide a good amount of excess value of the course of this deal.

Bud Selig Confirms That 29 Of His Bosses Are A Bit Fed Up With Tampa

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 8:35 pm by

Or more to the point, there’s no shortage of frustration amongst baseball’s higher payroll clubs that they continue to contribute to the Rays’ meager payroll (and regular season success) via the luxury tax. With contests at Tropicana Field played in relative privacy, there seems little chance the Rays will increase payroll substantially on their own volition, a situation that led venue-challenged owner Stuart Steinberg to declare Thursday, “Major League Baseball no longer believes in the Tampa Bay area”. Almost on cue, MLB issued the following press release, which could well be titled, “You’re Fucking Right We Don’t”

“The Commissioner has had conversations with Stuart Sternberg and is disappointed with the current situation in the Tampa Bay market. The status quo is simply not sustainable. The Rays have been a model organization, averaging nearly 92 wins per year since 2008 and participating in the postseason three times, including their inaugural World Series in 2008. Their .565 winning percentage over the last five years is second among all American League clubs and third in all of Major League Baseball. Last year, the 30 Major League clubs averaged nearly 2.5 million in total attendance; the Rays, who finished with a 90-72 record, drew 1,559,681, which ranked last in the game. The club is an eager contributor to worthy causes in the Tampa and St. Petersburg communities and takes pride in meeting the social responsibilities that come with being a Major League franchise. We are hopeful that the market will respond in kind to a club that has done a marvelous job on and off the field.”

The Real Reason Behind Mariotti’s Sun-Times Departure : They Weren’t Web Savvy Enough!

Posted in Sports Journalism at 1:57 pm by

Former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti has been “staying sharp as a writer” (his words) with selected posts for ChicagoSide, who coincidentally just signed a content agreement with his former employer. If you’re wondering if this means a Mariotti return to the Sun-Times in any capacity, Jay assures the Sherman Report’s Ed Sherman that is absolutely not the case.

The Sun-Times, when I worked there, was a politically conflicted disgrace of a newspaper. The bosses cut deals and curried favor with people I had to cover as a Chicago sports columnist. They also failed to improve the Web site, a promise they made when I signed a contract extension in July 2008. I resigned in a cordial letter to the publisher two months later, after returning from the Beijing Olympics, and I handed back almost $1 million in wages. I don’t miss the place a bit.

01.23.13

Q : When Is It OK For Chelsea F.C. To Physically Assault A Child?

Posted in Football, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 8:14 pm by

A : when he’s a time-wasting, attention-hungry little twerp who acts like being kicked repeatedly in the ribs is some kind of big deal. The Guardian’s Dominic Fifield on Chelsea’s classy reaction following their League Cup semi-final exit at Swansea :

“They have apologised to each other,” said Rafael Benítez, Chelsea’s interim manager. “They knew they were both wrong. He was wasting time. (Eden) Hazard wanted to get the ball back quickly and he was kicking. They both made mistakes. They both accept they were wrong, and we can’t change things. We will deal with this internally. He was frustrated and just wanted to get the ball back, but we will analyse it and see what happens.”

“Do you think we are not disappointed with the situation, that we don’t regret what’s happened? They apologised. You cannot change things. We cannot. They both made a mistake. The player spoke with the boy and said sorry because there was a mistake. Listen to me: as Chelsea FC, we know it was a mistake, we talk with the boy, we talk with the player. The boy was there with us in the dressing room. Everyone was very clear.” Morgan has worked as a ballboy at Swansea for six years and had claimed on his Twitter account before kick-off that this would be his final appearance in the role as he stepped in for a colleague.

He had even boasted he would be stationed behind the home goal and was “needed for time-wasting”. The teenager had 11,000 followers at the final whistle, with that number swelling to 40,000 an hour after the end of the game. Chelsea’s official Twitter feed had initially suggested the red card was unjustified. “Has football gone mad?” they wrote. “Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball under a ballboy attempting to smother the ball rather than return it.” They later apologised for that tweet.

Sing A Tsonga Of Sexism (Especially If It Fills CSTB’s 2013 Quota On Tennis Coverage)

Posted in Tennis at 7:32 pm by

(since Jeff Tarango’s erratic behavior could not be blamed on his gender, we’ll just have to assume he was a total jerk)

Asked by reporters at the Australian Open why top seeds in women’s tennis tend to be knocked out early more often on the men’s tour, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claimed, “the girls are more unstable” (“it’s just about hormones and all this stuff…e don’t have all these bad things, so we are physically in a good shape every time, and you are not. That’s it.”)  The Wall Street Journal’s Carl Bialik is far too professional to resort to the sort of name-calling that headlined this item, instead pointing out, “there are plenty of more plausible explanations for this gender discrepancy than Tsonga’s biological theory.”

One, for instance, is that Williams and Kim Clijsters filled some of these semifinal slots after long absences from the game, which deflated their seeds below their high-caliber abilities. (The same may happen with the men at this spring’s French Open, when seven-time champion Rafael Nadal — if he returns from injury as planned on clay next month — likely will be outside the top four but will be favored to reach the semifinals.)

The most plausible explanation, though, is that upsets are more likely when the underdog needs to win just two of three sets — the requisite in the women’s draw at majors — rather than three out of five sets, as is required by male upstarts. Shorter formats mean as consistent as Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray have been as the top four — and as consistently as Ferrer has lived up to his seeding in the last two majors as the No. 4 seed — they’d likely have much spottier records if they risked exit by losing two of the first three sets of their matches. It’s impossible to know how they would have performed in best-of-three-set matches: Their strategy and approach to the first three sets might have been wholly different. But the closest we can come to this hypothetical is to see how they did play in the first three sets of Grand Slam matches. And many times before the semifinal round, they played poorly enough or their opponents played well enough to knock a top seed out early.

If Only The WBC Had Existed In 1986, Karol Józef Wojtyla Could’ve Done Wonders For Poland

Posted in Baseball, Religion at 3:01 pm by

I mean no blasphemy whatsoever when I say the late Pope John Paul II looks far more comfortable in the batter’s box than Al Leiter ever did.  Video courtesy Brian Turner.

01.22.13

Beating A Succession Of Guys You’ve Never Heard Of Before – Possibly The Greatest Moment Of Scalabrine’s Hoops Career

Posted in Basketball, Sports Radio at 8:38 pm by

He’s been called The White Mamba. Veal Scalabrine. Michael Rapapport The Human Victory Cigar. But one thing you cannot call veteran benchwarmer-turned-broadcaster Brian Scalabrine is Unable To Defeat Anonymous Schmoes. WBZ’s Toucher & Rich recruited a quartet of one-on-one rivals for Scalabrine, and if the following item from CBS Boston is any measure, the former Celtics fan favorite took no small satisfaction in his triumph.

Scalabrine easily defeated all four of his opponents, throwing down monstrous jams and sinking smooth jumpers as he beat them all by a combined score of 44-6.

“When you go into a game you have to realize that these guys can play,” Scal said of his opponents. “They’re strong, they’ve played against guys quicker than me, they’ve played against guys bigger than me, they’ve played against guys stronger than me.”

“I was expecting what I was expecting today,” he said. “The only thing I think they weren’t expecting was my size defensively; how good I can cover ground defensively.”

From The Entertainment Division Of Cumbucket Media : Sweet Talk’s First Video

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 4:37 pm by

I’m usually loathe to use CSTB for cross-promotional purposes because no one reads it anymore but I’m gonna make an exception in this rare instance because I’m such a firm believer in the talents of the ensemble in question.  Also because boxes of their debut LP are stacked so high in my living room I haven’t seen sunlight in days.

Sweet Talk are an Austin quartet fronted/founded by former Uptown Bums guitarist/vocalist Stephen Svacina, who a few of you might know from his additional guitar work  in Mark Ryan’s post Marked Men quintet, Mind Spiders.  Flanked by fellow ex-Denton TX fixture Wiccans/Video/Brain Attack bassist Harpal Assi and southpaw guitar wiz/Ft. Wayne transplant Mitch Frazier (Church Shoes), Svacina’s Sweet Talk will see their first album, ‘Pickup Lines’ (12XU, LP/CD) hit stores and iTunes next week.  The music video in question, directed by Saman Ghanbar  provides a cautionary tale about just what could happen to any young couple foolish enough to move next door to Sweet Talk’s practice space.

I’d liken it to an early Neil LaBute work, sans any dialogue whatsoever (and with an abundance of beer being thrown around).  Also, add wanton destruction of a guitar, an accordion, and there’s a really good looking rat, too.  Actually, I think we can all agree LaBute’s films would be way better if they were about 120 minutes shorter, had zero dialogue and way more shit being wrecked.

There’s a small army of Austin, TX luminaries appearing in this clip, but since hardly any of you know who I’m talking about, just enjoy the video and pretend they’re highly paid talent.

Sweet Talk
- tumblr
12XU – site